Chances are you’ve already observed that you don’t hear as well as you once did. In most cases, we don’t even recognize that our decisions are negatively impacting our hearing.
With a few simple lifestyle changes, many types of hearing loss can be avoided. Let’s look at six surprising secrets that will help you protect your hearing.
1. Manage Your Blood Pressure
Persistently high blood pressure is not good. A study revealed that hearing loss was 52% more likely with people who have above average blood pressure and they’re more likely to have other health issues also.
Take steps to decrease your blood pressure and avoid hearing damage. Don’t dismiss high blood pressure or wait to consult a doctor. Following your doctor’s orders, eating a healthy diet, managing stress, and exercising regularly are all parts of blood pressure management.
2. Stop Smoking
Here’s another reason to quit: People who smoke are 15% more likely to develop hearing loss. What’s even more surprising is that there’s a 28% higher chance of someone developing hearing problems if they are regularly subjected to second-hand smoke. The dangerous consequences of second-hand smoke are not only harmful, they also remain in the air for long periods.
If you’re a smoker, protect your hearing and consider quitting. If you spend time with a smoker, take steps to reduce your exposure to second-hand smoke.
3. Regulate Your Diabetes
One out of four adults is either pre-diabetic or diabetic. A pre-diabetic person is very likely to get diabetes within 5 years if they don’t make serious lifestyle changes.
Blood vessels that are damaged by high blood sugar don’t efficiently transport nutrients. A diabetic individual is more than two times as likely to cope with hearing loss compared to a non-diabetic individual.
If you have diabetes, safeguard your hearing by taking the correct steps to control it. If you are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, safeguard your hearing by making lifestyle changes to avoid it.
4. Lose Some Weight
This is more about your health than feeling good about your body image. As your Body Mass Index (BMI) goes up, so does your risk of hearing loss and other health problems. A slightly obese woman (with a 30 to 34 BMI) has a 17% higher risk of developing hearing loss. For somebody with a BMI of 40 (moderate obesity), the risk goes up to 25%.
Work to get rid of some of that extra weight. Your life can be prolonged and your hearing can be safeguarded by something as basic as walking for 30 minutes each day.
5. OTC Drugs Shouldn’t be Overused
Some over-the-counter (OTC) medicines can cause hearing impairment. The danger rises when these drugs are taken on a regular basis over lengthy periods of time.
Medicines including acetaminophen, naproxen, ibuprofen, and aspirin are known to lead to hearing loss. Take these drugs in moderation and only with your doctor’s advice if you need to take them more regularly.
Studies demonstrate that you’ll probably be okay if you’re using these medications periodically in the suggested doses. The danger of hearing loss increases up to 40% for men, however, when these medicines are taken on a day-to-day basis.
Always follow your doctor’s advice. Your doctor might be able to recommend some lifestyle changes that will decrease your dependence on these medications if you are taking them every day.
6. Eat More Broccoli
Broccoli is high in nutrients and vitamins such as C and K and also is high in iron. Iron is essential to blood circulation and a healthy heart. Iron helps your blood carry nutrients and oxygen to cells to keep them healthy and nourished.
If you’re a vegetarian or don’t eat much meat, it’s important that you consume enough plant-based iron. You’re more likely to be iron deficient because the iron found in plants is less bioavailable than the iron found in meat.
Pennsylvania State University researchers examined more than 300,000 individuals. The researchers determined participants with anemia (extreme iron deficiency) were twice as likely to experience sensorineural hearing loss as those without the disorder. Sensorineural hearing loss is the scientific name for irreversible hearing loss associated with aging.
The inner ear has delicate hair cells that pick up sounds and interact with the brain to transmit the volume and frequency of those sounds. If these hair cells die because of poor circulation or other concerns arising from iron deficiency, they won’t grow back.
Don’t wait to get a hearing test because you’re never too young. Implement these steps into your life and reduce hearing loss.